11/01/2005 1:00AM

Three Juvenile runners point to KJC


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - While First Samurai will be given a brief freshening before resurfacing in Florida for a winter campaign, most of the unusually deep class of Kentucky-based 2-year-olds will remain active through the end of this month.

First Samurai, third as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last weekend, is resting in Frank Brothers's barn at Churchill Downs, where two key graded stakes for 2-year-olds will be run this month: the Grade 3 Iroquois on Saturday and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 26.

First Samurai will not run in either race, but the other three Churchill horses who ran in the Juvenile could all return for the KJC, according to their trainers.

Private Vow, who finished 14th and last in the Juvenile after his rider's left rein broke, was scheduled to arrive Tuesday in Louisville following a flight from New York, said trainer Steve Asmussen. "I fully intend to run in the Jockey Club," said Asmussen.

Sorcerer's Stone, sixth as the 7-1 third choice in the Juvenile, "just spun his wheels the whole way around there," said trainer Pat Byrne. Sorcerer's Stone was back on the track galloping Tuesday at Churchill. "It wasn't like he ran an extremely demanding race," said Byrne. "We're definitely pointing to the Jockey Club."

Trainer Dale Romans said he was not as sure about the KJC for Dawn of War, the Breeders' Futurity winner who faded to 11th after setting the early pace at 32-1 in the Juvenile. "He came back out of it good, and I can't give him any excuses," said Romans. "Let's say the Jockey Club is a possibility."

Besides the Breeders' Cup holdovers, the KJC field also figures to get the top performers from the $100,000 Iroquois, a one-mile race that serves as the focus of the coming weekend at Churchill. Quite a few promising 2-year-olds are in the prospective field, including Flanders Fields, Laity, and Charley Tango.

Battle Won done for the year

Battle Won will be given the winter off after bleeding "bad enough" when finishing last of 11 in the BC Sprint, said trainer Chuck Simon.

"Now we can't make the De Francis Dash," said Simon, referring to the Grade 1 race on Nov. 19 at Laurel Park. "We might as well stop for the year."

Meanwhile, Elusive Jazz, fifth at 53-1 in the Sprint, could run back in either the DeFrancis or an overnight stakes at the end of the Churchill meet, said trainer Bobby Barnett. "He caught a quarter in the race, probably at the start," he said. "But he's okay. He's back here feeling good."

She Says It Best bled in race

She Says It Best bled "a 4 on a scale of 10" when finishing ninth of 10 at 27-1 in the BC Juvenile Fillies, said trainer Vickie Foley.

"We've run some blood tests on her to make sure it's going to be okay to keep her in training," said Foley. "We'd like to run her in the Golden Rod" on Nov. 26 at Churchill.

Foley said She Says It Best "just ran flat."

"When she was up there in New York, she just wasn't herself," Foley said. "Maybe she was a little overwhelmed by the trip, I don't know. But hopefully she'll come back to herself and the Golden Rod will be a go."

She Says It Best won the Grade 2 Alcibiades at Keeneland last month.

Nicks already thinking BC 2006

It didn't take long for Ralph Nicks's phone to ring after Artie Schiller won the BC Mile. The caller was David Garner, the Louisville resident who owns Cool Conductor. On Preakness Day, in the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico, Cool Conductor narrowly defeated Artie Schiller after a long and sizzling stretch duel.

"Mr. Garner said, 'Ralph, we need to get there next year!' " said Nicks, who trains Cool Conductor. "On the one hand, it's exciting to know you can be competitive on your best day. On the other hand, it's frustrating to see the horse you beat win. You think that could've been you if things had gone just right."

After his Dixie win, Cool Conductor ran fourth in the United Nations and won the Arlington Handicap, then went off form when he finished far back in a pair of Grade 1 turf races, the Arlington Million and Shadwell Mile. Nicks said that Cool Conductor, a 5-year-old, had "some minor issues" that compromised his form and that he has been turned out on Dr. Foster Northrup's farm east of Louisville.

"We'll bring him back early next year and shoot for the Breeders' Cup here next fall at Churchill," said Nicks.

Bejarano will ride Suave in Clark

Suave, the Churchill-based colt who was fifth in the Classic, has picked up a riding commitment from Rafael Bejarano for the Grade 2 Clark Handicap on Nov. 25, according to trainer Paul McGee. Owners Mace and Samantha Siegel already have turned down inquiries from the Japan Racing Association about the possibility of shipping Suave to the $2,360,000 million Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 26, said McGee.

Perfect Drift, the $4 million-plus earner who ran third in the Classic, is among the other likely starters for the $500,000 Clark.